Chapter 29: Tragedy of Karbala Remains Immortal
At the time of the occurrence of the tragedy of Karbala there were a very limited number of Ahlul Bayt and the Shi'ah who could evaluate the importance of this event, speak about the effect which it was likely to have on future history and remove the misunderstanding of the people.
With the grace of Allah we shall study the event in which seventy three persons sacrificed their lives and the part played by their mournful and bereaved women and children. We shall see how the addresses and speeches of the brave and eloquent speakers belonging to the Ahlul Bayt created a tumult in the spirit of the people, shook their hearts, removed their misunderstanding, completely changed the thinking of the people, invited them to realize the value of this sacred rising and deprived the enemy of an opportunity to alter the facts of this historical event.
Whatever the enemy said or wrote and whatever meanness was shown by him was recorded in history .It was the addresses and speeches of Imam Husayn delivered in Masjid Haram and at the halting places on his way from the Hijaz to Iraq, and on the day of the Ashura, and the addresses of the fourth Imam and other members of Ahlul Bayt during their journey in the capacity of prisoners, which depicted the event of Ashura so explicitly on the pages of history. Of course, when these memorable and everlasting words were being uttered, very few people could realize their value and impact. It was only the speakers who knew well what they were saying and doing and what result they would get from it.
It was Imam Husayn who knew well from the very moment he left Madina what he was doing and where he was going and what result his movement and rising would produce for the world of Islam. The Shi'ah men and women and the Ahlul Bayt who had been made captives possessed perfect insight with regard to the task undertaken by them and in spite of all their mental sufferings and unlimited dejection they spoke very eloquently whenever they felt that it was necessary for them to speak, laid the facts bare before the people and deprived their enemies from altering history.
However, as we have already said it is certain that most of the people in those days were not aware of the depth of these speeches. Very often it so happened that if they heard lady Zaynab, the daughter of Imam Ali speaking in the city of Damascus they thought that she was a mournful and bereaved woman whose sentiments had been aroused and she was speaking on account of grief and suffering, but later when she would become calm and forget her sufferings she would be forgotten by history.
These short-sighted persons, who could not understand the realty, were not aware that the powerful pen of history was ready to write down and record every word uttered by her and was recording her speeches very minutely without expecting any reward for performing this task. The pen of history did not record only what the daughter of Imam Ali said but also recorded the poetic verses of the ruler of the time and handed them over to history.
Indeed, even if the enemies of Ahlul Bayt did not fear Allah and were not ashamed before the Holy Prophet they should have feared at least history and should have kept in mind that history would record everything and hand it over to the future generations, and keep it carefully in the libraries of the world, and if they wanted to eliminate even one speech of the fourth Imam or lady Zaynab, it would not be possible to do so unless all the libraries were demolished and all the books were destroyed. History is the dossier of all the past and future generations.
History is a mirror which shows the face of every person as it has been. Persons depart from the scene and the nations are displaced but history stays at its place and cleverly supervises the good and bad deeds of the individuals and the coming and going of the nations. History does not confuse the accounts of the people, and does not hold on person responsible for the crimes of another. Contrary to what is imagined by most of the people that with the passage of time history forgets the historical accounts and conceals the facts, it actually reveals the realities as the time passes and removes for the future comers the impediments which are experienced by the contemporaries so that they may become more fully acquainted with the historical realities.
The passage of time not only does not create any impediments in the path of study and research of the events but also removes the existing ones and makes the path of research and study shorter and clearer for the unbiased researchers. And the study of the history of the Ashura of Imam Husyan is easier for us who are more than thirteen centuries distant from that historical event as compared with those who lived in 61 A.H. We do not experience those difficulties which they experienced in the matter of research and investigation about this event and hereafter also the passage of time and the lapse of centuries and ages win not create any impediment in the path of research about it.